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3 suggestions for conducting virtual meetings

Business Technology | April 15, 2011

Although face-to-face meetings are the standard in terms of conducting business, virtual meetings are quickly becoming more common. Virtual meetings are extremely convenient, but can be challenging if you don’t take certain factors into consideration.

Proper etiquette is essential to the success of a virtual meeting. Many people treat virtual meetings as more informal than face-to-face ones, which is not always appropriate. Etiquette can go a long way in making participants view you as competent and an authority on the issue at hand.

Here are some additional tips that can help you carry out more efficient and professional virtual meetings.

1. Be prepared

Preparedness is critical when it comes to professionalism and helping a meeting run smoothly. When you’re gathering the content and resources for a virtual meeting, you should be sure to remember your audience – something that’s not quite as easy during a virtual meeting.

Make sure that everyone will be able to easily access the meeting by providing them with the correct access codes, URLs and call-in numbers. After all, a meeting without any attendees is really no meeting at all.

2. Engage participants

Many people are in the habit of jumping right into the meat of the presentation, which isn’t always best during virtual meetings. If you and your participants aren’t familiar with each other, building some kind of relationship is necessary. Try giving everybody the opportunity to introduce themselves.

Even though it may seem cliché, having everyone give a little information about themselves, like their favorite food, or the high point of their weekend, could be a great icebreaker. It allows everyone to see the other participants as more than just a face on a computer screen.

3. No side conversations

Side conversations can be unbelievably distracting to all participants, even if you’re not on screen at the moment. Not only can side conversations grab the focus of the presenter, it can distract other attendees and deter from the point of the meeting.

Virtual meetings are excellent assets and there are many ways to ensure that you are conducting them in a professional and interesting manner. If you’d like to take a look at more suggestions for conducting virtual meetings, check out this Inc. article.


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